Budgeting IT Resources

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MIAMI-Like any credit union going through a core conversion project, Ent FCU placed a moratorium on all requests upon the IT staff until that conversion was complete.

But where the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based credit union created a Best Practice was in how it dealt with those requests for IT's time once its conversion to a new Symitar system was complete.

James Moore, SVP-Corporate Development with Ent FCU, shared with The Credit Union Journal's Best Practices conference how the $2-billion credit union dealt with the backlog of demands, a time-crunch exacerbated in part by the IT staff's natural tendency to take on more projects than they can handle in a timely manner.

"They have a hard time saying no," he acknowledged. "They love to write code and solve problems."

Ent had no process to prioritize requests, which frequently led to managers becoming more aggressive or vocal about their pending projects, which in turn caused friction between management and the IT staff. In response, Ent developed iQueue, a system that tracks the status of each IT request, who's working on it and the completion date. Monthly manager meetings set priorities, provide time allotments, and assign a specific person to the task. In response to an attendee question, Moore noted those same managers work to ensure a project doesn't slide down the list of priorities and that it is completed. Ent employees can access iQueue through the credit union's Intranet in order to get a status on their respective project, or other information they need to make decisions. For example, marketing staff can use iQueue to learn when to prepare mailings as they track a new loan campaign. Moore said iQueue saves time, deletes unnecessary projects and improves inter-departmental communication.

"When we talk to our IT staff, we feel we're getting things done in the right order," Moore said.

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